USS Carter Hall (LSD-50)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

USS Carter Hall approaches USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO-199) for an underway replenishment in the Indian Ocean (7 October 2007).
Carter Hall cruising the Indian Ocean, 7 October 2007
United States
NamesakeCarter Hall in Virginia
Ordered22 December 1989
Laid down11 November 1991
Launched2 October 1993
Commissioned30 September 1995
HomeportJEBLC, Virginia
MottoWorking For Peace Ready For War
Statusin active service
General characteristics
Class and typeHarpers Ferry-class dock landing ship
  • 11,471 tons (light)
  • 16,360 tons (full)
Length610 ft (190 m)
Beam84 ft (26 m)
Draft21 ft (6.4 m)
Propulsion4 Colt Industries, 16-cylinder diesel engines, 2 shafts, 33,000 shp (25,000 kW)
Speedover 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried
LCACs or 1 LCU or four LCM-8 or nine LCM-6
Capacity15 Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV), 4 M1 Abrams tanks
  • 24 officers, 397 enlisted
  • Marine detachment: 402 + 102 surge

USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) is a Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy. She is the second US Navy ship to be named for Carter Hall, an estate near Winchester, Virginia, built in the 1790s.

Carter Hall was laid down on 11 November 1991 by the Avondale Shipyards at New Orleans, Louisiana. The ship was launched on 2 October 1993 and commissioned on 30 September 1995.

As of July 2023, Carter Hall, along with USS Bataan (LHD-5) and elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, are being dispatched to U.S. Central Command in the Middle East as part of the U.S. response to Iran’s continued seizure of commercial vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.[1]


The mission of the Landing Ship Dock (LSD) is to transport and launch amphibious craft, vehicles, crews and embarked personnel in an amphibious assault. An LSD can also render limited docking and repair service to small ships and craft, and act as the Primary Control Ship (PCS) during amphibious assaults.

Carter Hall is a Cargo Variant (CV) of the Whidbey Island class. A significant difference between the two classes is that Carter Hall's well deck has been shortened from 440 feet (130 m) to 180 feet (55 m). This provides Marines with added vehicle and cargo storage areas. The well deck can hold two Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCAC) and a variety of landing craft and tracked amphibious assault vehicles. Carter Hall's two-spot flight deck can land and service any helicopter in the Navy and Marine Corps inventory.



Carter Hall and her plankowner crew departed on their first six-month Mediterranean deployment on 29 April 1997. Her crew completed a UNITAS/WATC Deployment from 24 July 1999 until 15 December 1999.


In 2001, Carter Hall deployed to the Mediterranean Sea from 15 April to 15 October 2001.

In 2003, she deployed as part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. During a ten month deployment, she assisted in combat in OIF/OEF.[citation needed]

On 2 June 2007, Carter Hall engaged pirates after they boarded the Danish ship MV Danica White off the coast of Somalia. The LSD destroyed three small boats being towed behind the captured vessel, but was unable to pursue after the vessel entered Somalian waters.[2][3][4]


On 13 January 2010, Carter Hall was ordered to assist the humanitarian efforts following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[5]

On 31 October 2012, Carter Hall was sent towards the Hurricane Sandy impact area in case the United States Navy was needed to support the disaster relief efforts.[6]

In April 2016, one of Carter Hall's sailors died after falling overboard from the ship. Navy and Coast Guard units searched for the sailor, but to no avail.[7][8][9][10]


Carter Hall participating in the recovery of the Chinese surveillance balloon

On 1 June 2020, the Navy reported that two weeks prior, several crew members assigned to Carter Hall had tested positive for COVID-19.[11] The exact number of sailors infected was not disclosed due to Defense Department policy, but those infected were "being checked on each day by their leadership [and] receiving deliveries of food and essential items".[11] At the time, the ship was docked at her home base.[12] Most of the roughly 400 crew members were brought ashore while the ship was being sanitized.[12]

In December 2020 the US Navy's Report to Congress on the Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels stated that the ship was planned to be placed Out of Commission in Reserve in 2023.[13]

The ship was one of several US Navy vessels present in the Atlantic near a suspected Chinese espionage balloon that was downed by the United States on 4 February 2023. The crew had stayed out longer, (originally returning to port on February 6), within the vicinity of the sunken parts in response to the spyballoon being sunk.[14]

Due to continued tensions with Iran, the Navy deployed Carter Hall, along with amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5), to the Gulf area via the Red Sea, in August 2023.[15]

Ship's coat of arms[edit]

The colors of the field red, white, and blue, stand for the United States. The saltire recalls the heritage of the South in the history of Carter Hall in Millwood, Virginia. The anchor represents the Navy. The times are in the form of pheons, symbolizing the mission of support to assault operations. The loose rope intertwined with the anchor signifies freedom. The border denotes unity. Dark blue and gold are the colors traditional associated with the Navy; red for courage, white for integrity. The griffin denotes courage and vigilance. The crown refers to the heritage of Carter Hall, recalling the Great grandfather of its builder, known as "King" Carter. The battle stars of the first Carter Hall (LSD-3) are commemorated by the arc of battle stars, five gold for her service in Vietnam. The motto is underscored by the olive branch for peace and the oak for war. Gold is for excellence and red for courage. The arms are emblazoned on a white oval enclosed by a blue collar edge on the outside with a gold rope and bearing the inscription "USS Carter Hall" at the top and "LSD-50" at the bottom in gold.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "U.S. Warship Fires Warning Shots Over Vessel Boarded by Pirates Off Somali Coast". Fox News. 5 June 2007. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
  3. ^ "Navy: U.S. ship fired at pirates off Somalia". USA Today. Associated Press. 6 June 2007. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
  4. ^ "U.S. warship can't stop pirates off Somalia". CNN. 6 June 2007. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
  5. ^ Bacon, Lance M. (13 January 2010). "Carl Vinson, 6 Other Ships Headed to Haiti". Navy Times. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  6. ^ Kirby, John (31 October 2012). "Oct. 31st – Hurricane Sandy Update". Department of the Navy, Office of Information. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Navy, Coast Guard searching for sailor missing off North Carolina coast". Fox News. 10 April 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  8. ^ Lamothe, Dan (10 April 2016). "Search-and-rescue effort launched for sailor missing from Navy ship off Cape Hatteras". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Navy IDs sailor reported missing off North Carolina coast". Navy Times. Associated Press. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  10. ^ Seck, Hope Hodge (14 April 2016). "Navy Identifies Sailor Who Went Missing Off North Carolina Coast". Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  11. ^ a b Ziezulewicz, Geoff (1 June 2020). "Sailors test positive for COVID-19 aboard dock landing ship Carter Hall". Navy Times. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Cleaned After COVID-19 Detection, Amphib Carter Hall Awaits Crew's Return". 10 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Report to Congress on the Annual Long-Range Plan for Construction of Naval Vessels" (PDF). Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. 9 December 2020. p. 16. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down off South Carolina coast". Retrieved 4 February 2023.
  15. ^ "US-IRAN TENSIONS HIGH". Retrieved 12 August 2023.

External links[edit]